Take a stroll around Epcot with us without having to leave your air-conditioning! (Photos by Seth Kubersky)
Following my Frozen-filled visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios last week, I found myself back at Walt Disney World a few days later for some observations from Epcot. As a child, EPCOT (as it will always be capitalized in my heart) was my favorite WDW park, and the massive Beard/Abrams coffee table book on the park’s creation remains among my most prized possessions. As everyone knows, Epcot’s attractions (especially in Future World) have been radically overhauled over the past 2 decades, and now I rarely visit the park except during the fantastic Food & Wine or Flower & Garden festivals.
My first mid-summer Epcot experience in several seasons started on a sweet note, as I snagged a parking spot along the center aisle; there is nothing worse than having to walk a football field’s length just to get to the tram.
Spending a lot of time at Universal Orlando lately, I’ve been frustrated by how slow their entry procedures are, even after new ticket scanners were recently installed. In contrast, the turnstile-free entry at Disney’s parks has become my favorite element of MyMagic+. Scanning a MagicBand usually seems swifter than swiping a barcode, and the finger scanners at Disney are still far faster and more reliable than Universal’s new biometric readers.
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Are you a fan of Club Cool, a place where guests can go to sample Coca-Cola products from countries around the world? If so, then the next time you visit this location in Epcot’s Future World, you’ll have a few new flavors of soda to try.
Seven new tastes are now offered. Beverly, the Italian aperitif that was previously found there, remains. (So will the popular game of getting unsuspecting people to drink this bitter tasting beverage.)
The new flavors are:
- Fanta Pineapple – Fanta debuted in Europe in the 1940s and was introduced in the U.S.A. in 1960s. It’s now available in more than 90 flavors. This option is caffeine-free and has a sweet pineapple taste.
- VegitaBeta (Japan) – combines apricot and passion fruit flavors
- Fanta Melon Frosty (Thailand) – a melon-flavored soda that is the number one seller here
- Bibo (South Africa) – a fruit-flavored juice drink
- Sparberry (Africa) – raspberry cream-flavored soda
- Guarana Kuat (Brazil) – flavored after the guarana berry
- Inca Kola (Peru) – offers a sweet, almost bubblegum-like taste
It sounds like these are interesting flavors, so make sure to enjoy your complimentary cup of refreshing goodness on your next trip! You may just find a new favorite!
Been awhile since I was here last and it feels good to be back. Just like walking through the front gate at one of the parks. Samland is proud to be a part of the new Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World Color Companion. Isn’t time for you to buy your second copy? Samland has been revamped so that it is easier to find the articles you are looking for. I hope you get a chance to check it out.
Future World has been compared to a World’s Fair and for good reason. The basic design principles are the same. They both feature monumental pavilions with each one focused on a single concept. The pavilions are tied together by highly detailed, well-designed public spaces. To create a memorable and meaningful experience, the public spaces integrate landscaping, water, sculpture, light, motion, and scenic vistas.
When you enter Future World you are entering a time machine. The arrival experience is designed to transport you from your car, a bus or the monorail, and drop you into the future. You and your party will share the humbling experience of passing under the iconic Spaceship Earth. The bottom of this first of its kind geodesic sphere is only 18 feet from ground and feels almost close enough to touch.
The portal under Spaceship Earth funnels you into the Millennium Plaza. The Innoventions buildings create a strong boundary and frame the plaza. At the plaza’s heart is the Fountain of Nations, which was dedicated by Walt Disney’s widow Lillian in 1982.
Go left and the east side of the park is devoted to the left side of your brain. This is the home to rational, objective thought, science and math and features the themes of energy, space exploration, and mechanical engineering. The planters and pathways are geometrically shaped, rigid with sharp angles, plantings are precise and formal, and public furniture is functional and uses technology to overcome environmental challenges.
Go right and the west side is focused on the right side of your brain. This is where holistic thinking, music, the arts, and creativity thrive. The circle of life, both on the land and the sea, is celebrated in two of the pavilions. The Land pavilion pops up out of the ground as if from a split in the earth and the Seas pavilion is shaped like a wave or a huge shell. The Imagination pavilion requires you to suspend your disbelief as you pass through a magical garden and the pyramidal structures have been described as a “symphony of volumes, forms, tonal nuances.” The pathways are gently curved; the plantings are less formal, there is lots of water, and seating areas are under shady spots covered by a canopy of mature trees.
All Epcot touring plans have been updated to reflect the permanent closing of Wonders of Life, and the popularity of Soarin’. Significant changes have been made to the Two-Day Early Riser plans, which should almost eliminate backtracking entirely. Important changes made to other plans, especially those that involve the headliner attractions. Drop us a line if we’ve missed anything in these updates, please.